Joanna Jędrzejczyk was a few months into retirement before she got the itch to fight again.
Immediately after her second-round KO loss to Zhang Weili at UFC 275 this past June, Jędrzejczyk left her gloves in the Octagon and told UFC color commentator Daniel Cormier that she would join his ‘league’ and retire. For the next phase of her career, Jędrzejczyk shifted focus to being an ambassador for the promotion and getting into managing up-and-coming fighters. And though content with that phase, the former UFC strawweight champion recently admitted she has thought about fighting again.
One of the most recent instances came a few weeks ago, according to Jędrzejczyk. ‘JJ’ told Adam Catterall of BT Sport that she spoke to her team and was thisclose to calling the UFC brass about a return to competition.
“It’s still hard,” said Jędrzejczyk. “It was a spontaneous decision, but during fight week I felt that if something [happened], I will retire and it happened. The craziest thing about my retirement is that my last camp was the best camp in my fighting career. I felt so good. I was probably—not one of the best, but I was in the best shape ever. Weili Zhang caught me and I went down. And yeah. It just happened.
“But two weeks ago, I went crazy, man,” continued Jędrzejczyk. “I was calling my management. I was about to call [UFC president] Dana [White] and [UFC Chief Business Officer] Hunter [Campbell] to bring me back. Actually, I had this conversation with my coach, Mike Brown, and Dan Lambert, the owner of ATT. But yeah, it’s hard to like sit, think, like you’ve done so much, your legacy is so big. But I’ve been doing this for the last 19 years of my life, so it’s really hard.”
It appears as though a quick return wouldn’t be an option, as UFC Roster Watch on Twitter confirmed Jędrzejczyk was officially removed from the roster, so likely would not be part of the USADA testing pool either.
Jędrzejczyk went 10-5 in her UFC tenure.